Related topics: quantum computing · physicists

Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience ...

Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water

Researchers at EPFL have discovered that the viscosity of solutions of electrically charged polymers dissolved in water is influenced by a quantum effect. This tiny quantum effect influences the way water molecules interact ...

Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality

A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium.

Has physics ever been deterministic?

Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna and the University of Geneva, have proposed a new interpretation of classical physics without real numbers. This new study challenges the traditional ...

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In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of a quantity that has the same units as the Planck constant and is related to both energy and momentum of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. The word comes from the Latin "quantus", for "how much." Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized", referred to as "quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete numerical values, rather than any value, at least within a range. There is a related term of quantum number.

A photon is often referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. But these terms can be a little misleading, because what is quantized is this Planck's constant quantity whose units can be viewed as either energy multiplied by time or momentum multiplied by distance.

Usually referred to as quantum "mechanics", it is regarded by virtually every professional physicist as the most fundamental framework we have for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level, for the very practical reason that it works. It is "in the nature of things", not a more or less arbitrary human preference.

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